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Archived Message

size of current champions

by Stephanie Giroux

I have read so much about size and about AKC standards for the maltese. I would be interested in hearing from breeders and exhibitors of maltese that have achieved one or more championships. I would like to know 4 things:

1) weight
2) height at the withers
3) sex
4) characteristics that you feel make this dog/bitch a champion !


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Since we know that Jay's Peanut is at the low end of the weight range at 4 pounds, it would be interesting to know whether the dogs that win the most in one part of the country are generally the same approximate size, and if a different size tends to win more in another area. Are the Canadian winners usually the American standard size or the European standard size? Does anyone know whether Tickle Me Silly is closer to 4 pounds or to 7 pounds? (I'm pretty sure that Silly would win at any size because it's hard to imagine a competitor that moves so beautifully.)

There is only one standard for the Maltese....under 7 pounds with preferred weight being from four to six pounds. Judges who are educated of the breed standard will judge accordingly and a proper Maltese will win no matter what part of the country it is.

A well structured 4 pound maltese will move as well as a larger sized dog.(Example: Peanut has beautiful movement whether shown in high grass or indoors and can keep a natural pace with the larger breeds of dogs without any problem).

Silly appears to be in the 5-5 1/2 pound range. Some Canadian Maltese winners are bred to the standard of U.S. Maltese since primarily their foundation stock is from this country.

I guess trying to be "analytical" and gather some facts about champion maltese didn't turn out to be a sucessful effort. For a Beginner it is a little difficult to apply two pages of breed standards to the process of selecting a 5 to 9 month old "show prospect". We all love our animals and think our canine family members are very special. How do you go about deciding which puppy offered for sale by reputable breeders active in showing and breeding maltese is a outstanding show prospect? I guess I'm asking how to bring some objectivity into the selection of a maltese you want to show?
-Stephanie Giroux

Stephanie, I suspect (not being a breeder, that's all I can do) that even they aren't always sure about whether they can take a pup to the championship. I would imagine that what they do is breed as best they can to the standard and using judgment about all the things they know are considered by judges besides that (temperment, etc.) then use that judgment combined with intuition (and maybe some outside help from others who are good judges of these characterisitics) to ready the baby to "do battle." I understand from reading posts here and on a e-mail list that these potential winners are usually kept by the breeder until at least 6 mos of age before any decision is made about selling them, so they have time to assess the quality of the puppy. If I were wanting to buy a Maltese (or any other pup) to show, I would contact breeders who have a record of winning and make arrangements with them to buy a dog specifically for the purpose of showing them. I don't know what kind of arrangements can be made, but suspect whatever they are you are at minimum looking at a rather large cash outlay, perhaps "shared" ownership, and some rather stringent requirements on how you will be raising, preparing, training, and showing such a dog. (As I said, this is a guess on my part.).
-cathy brown

The curent AKC standard for the Maltese is one of the toy breeds that has the least complicated standards to follow. Other toy breeds go into much detail and description. The standard has no mention of measurements at the withers only stating, "Weight under seven pounds, with from four to six pounds preferred. Over-all quality being favored over size". The standard is merely blueprints for breeders and judges to determine the quality of Maltese, and can be interpreted differently by everyone reading them.

If you have found a reputable breeder that is active in showing and winning with their maltese, chances are great you will purchase an outstanding show prospect from them. Reputable breeders would not want a bad representative of their kennel to to be shown and jeopardize their "good reputation."

If you have not been to a dog show, visit one and learn the different looks of the Maltese. Choose a Maltese that appeals to you and discuss with the breeder your interest in purchasing one, and expect to be put on a waiting list. The breeder you have chosen will be willing to assist you with your choice and answer any questions you may have.

Remember, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." The selection you make in your purchase may not be the same as someone elses, and the same thing with dog shows. One judge may prefer a different look than another. Study the short, but to the point Maltese breed standard a little more, read the current Maltese books, and visit a few dog shows.

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